At least 7 with flu-like symptoms quarantined in Negros provinces

Marchel P. Espina
At least 7 with flu-like symptoms quarantined in Negros provinces
Of the 7, 5 came in contact with the Chinese woman and man found to have novel coronavirus in the Philippines

BACOLOD, Philippines – At least 5 individuals were quarantined at a hospital in Negros Oriental while two others were quarantined at another hospital in Bacolod City after exhibiting flu-like symptoms.

The Department of Health (DOH) on Sunday, February 2, confirmed the second case of the novel coronavirus in the Philippines. Both confirmed cases traveled to the Philippines from Wuhan, China.

The second patient, who was the traveling companion of the first confirmed case, died on Saturday, February 1 – the first death recorded outside China. The DOH is currently monitoring 80 patients for possible infection.

The 5 persons being monitored in Negros Oriental came in contact with the two confirmed cases, who both had a travel history to Dumaguete City.

Provincial Information Officer Bimbo Miraflor, in a press conference on Monday, February 3, said swab samples were already taken from the 5 individuals – a plane passenger, two hotel employees, and two from a resort – and were sent to the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine for tests.

Miraflor said two of these persons have fever, while the others have cough and sore throat.

He said another 25 individuals who came in contact with the two confirmed cases were also being monitored. Although they were not exhibiting flu-like symptoms, they were required to be quarantined in 14 days. 

Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo instructed the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office to assist those who were identified to have direct contact with the two confirmed cases. The provincial government will provide them P5,000 assistance as they will not be able to work while under quarantine.

The provincial government again called on those who came in contact with the two confirmed cases to visit or present themselves to the Provincial Epidemiology and Surveillance Unit or the Negros Oriental Provincial Hospital. 

Due diligence

Meanwhile, Negros Occidental Governor Eugenio Jose Lacson announced on Monday that two patients were also quarantined in a hospital in Bacolod City.

The suspected patients are a 43-year-old Canadian who came from Taiwan, and a 12-year-old Filipino who traveled from Macau, China, and Hong Kong. 

Lacson said the Canadian was admitted to a hospital on Friday, January 31, adding that a private hospital initially refused the admission of the patient.

The Filipino was admitted to a hospital the following day, February 1, he said.

Lacson said the patients did not travel together.

He called on the public not to panic. “We’re debating [whether] to announce this or not, but it is not fair [if we will not announce it]…. I can’t just keep it from the public. Because of due diligence, we monitored two persons under investigation,” he said.

“We don’t want to create a scare. It’s good [that we know] because they are now being quarantined,” he said.

Lacson said the results will be out in 48 hours, and that the provincial government will continue to trace those who had direct contact with the patients. He also advised them to submit to the quarantine procedure.

He stressed that there is still no confirmed case of the novel coronavirus in Negros Occidental.

Lacson said the provincial government will reactivate its Provincial Infectious Disease Action and Control Committee to curb the possible spread of the virus.

Lacson also called on private hospitals to be prepared.

“I hope, if there is a need for them to admit a patient with suspected symptoms, just in case, I hope these private hospitals will be willing to treat these patients,” he added. 

The novel coronavirus that originated from Wuhan has so far killed 362 and sickened over 17,000 people across the country and worldwide. The World Health Organization already declared an international emergency over the virus. – Rappler.com

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